What causes Herpes Simplex?
Herpes simplex, commonly called cold sores or fever blisters, may occur once or return again and again. It’s caused by the herpes hominis virus.

Herpes Simplex begins as a group of small red bumps that blisters. You may have noticed itching or discomfort before the rash appeared. The blisters begin to dry up after a few days and form yellow crusts. The crusts gradually fall off and leave slowly fading red areas. The whole process takes about 10 – 14 days. No scars form.
These mild symptoms are typical of recurring Herpes Simplex. The very first infection with the herpes virus usually happens in childhood. It may go unrecognized, but often it causes fever, general illness, and much local soreness. Once you’ve had a Herpes Simplex infection, the virus becomes permanently established in your nerve tissue. Recurring herpes lesions result from activation of this virus.
Fever and sun exposure are the most common factors triggering Herpes Simplex virus. That’s when cold sores or fever blisters break out. Often no triggering factor can be found; the virus becomes activated without any apparent reason. Herpes Simplex is treated by Dr. Green for patients in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland regions.

Is Herpes Simplex contagious?
Like most other viruses, Herpes Simplex virus is contagious to people who have never had the infection before. Close contact such as kissing is necessary to transmit the infection.

Genital herpes is usually spread through sexual intercourse and is essentially a disease of adults. It’s also contagious when in the active stages. Recurring herpes is not a re-infection, but activation of a virus present in a quiet form in nerve tissue.

How is Herpes Simplex treated?
Herpes Simplex infections are treated with antiviral medicine. This helps speed up the healing process in addition to possibly preventing recurrences. Our physician will prescribe a cream to make you more comfortable while you’re getting over herpes.

Recurring herpes is usually only an uncomfortable nuisance. One exception is herpes of the eye. Since it may lead to eye damage, you should see an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) immediately. Fortunately, eye involvement is rare with Herpes Simplex. Herpes Simplex around the eye is not dangerous unless it involves the eye.

Can I prevent Herpes Simplex?
Herpes Simplex is unpredictable. It may attack every few weeks or months, then not come back for years. Vitamins, repeated smallpox vaccinations, herpes vaccines, dye and light treatments, and antiviral drugs applied to the skin have all been tried. Some of these remedies may have unpleasant side effects: all are worthless. Recurring herpes can be very distressing. Fortunately, attacks of genital herpes gradually becomes less frequent.

“You cannot go wrong with this dermatologist. Dr. Green and his staff are the very best! They go out of their way to assure patient satisfaction. I have used many services in the Bethesda location, and have always been more than satisfied. I highly recommend Dr. Green.” 

Susan E.

Dr. David Green, M.D.

Dr. David Green is a Board certified Dermatologist in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Green specializes in Dermatology, Dermatologic Cosmetic and Laser Surgery and the treatment of Varicose Veins and vascular disorders.

He is Certified by the American Board of Dermatology, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and a Member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the American College of Phlebology. He treats patients from Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia and throughout the Mid Atlantic region.


Dr. David Green proudly offers services in his Bethesda, Maryland office.

4800 Montgomery Ln.,
Suite LL50
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301.907.7250


10.32.09: Delegation and Assignment of Performance of Cosmetic Medical Procedures and Use of Cosmetic Medical Devices. This is a Maryland safety regulation that governs who can legally perform medical cosmetic procedures.  Dr. Green administers all injectable treatments (including Botox™, Juvederm™, Voluma™, Kyblella™, and other fillers & Sclerotherapy) and laser treatments.